Neuroscience is a broad field that aims to understand the brain and the nervous system. It includes the study of brain development, sensation and perception, learning and memory, neurological and psychiatric disorders, and molecules, cells, and genes responsible for nervous system functioning. Faculty research interests range from molecular neurobiology and neural and behavioral systems, to analysis and modeling of neurons. Research approaches include both the theoretical and the experimental.

The neuroscience research conducted in the department has a strong emphasis on sensory biology with research programs aimed at investigating chemical sensory systems and visual systems in both mammals and invertebrates. There is also research designed to understand the molecular mechanisms of neurulation in zebrafish.

In addition to the neuroscience research conducted on campus, UMBC students have access to the research program at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC), a component of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, which is located in close proximity to UMBC.

Faculty with Interest in Neuroscience:

Brewster, Rachel
We are investigating the regulation of brain development and metabolism. These studies are expected to contribute to the prevention of neural tube birth defects and the treatment of stroke.

Cronin, Thomas
We study the neurobiological adaptations of animals that allow them to see and perform their required functions in the habitats they encounter. This field is generally called visual ecology.

LeGates, Tara
We are interested in how neuronal communication regulates behavior and how changes in that communication can lead to psychiatric disease.

Lin, Weihong
We study chemical sensations mediated by olfactory and trigeminal systems in the nose cavity, using methods of electrophysiology, Ca2+ imaging, immunocytochemistry, and molecular biology in mice.

Lohr, Bernard
Our research investigates the behavioral and physiological characteristics of the auditory system in vertebrates, especially birds.

Ogura, Tatsuya
We study chemical sensations mediated by taste buds in the tongue, using methods of electrophysiology, functional imaging, immunocytochemistry, in transgenic mice.

Robinson, Phyllis
My research program is interested in vision and the molecules that convert light into a biological signal.

Sutton, Laurie
We study the role of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) in regulating both normal and disease states, as well as the regulatory mechanisms that modulate GPCR responsiveness at the molecular level.

Vonhoff, Fernando
We use the powerful genetic model Drosophila to perform live-imaging, brain microdissections, and genetic manipulations to study the assembly, refinement, and stabilization of neuronal networks, ranging from genes to behavior.